APRIL 14, 2014

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comScore Provides Snapshot of U.S. Digital Landscape

comScore's recently released Digital Future in Focus report covers a number of trends in the digital space including device usage, content consumption patterns and e-commerce. Not surprisingly, mobile and the prevalence of multi-platform usage continue to dominate the conversation around digital.  In the spring of last year, the percentage of consumers that used multiple platforms became the majority of the digital media audience for the first time ever; by the end of the year, 56% of the digital audience consumed on multiple platforms.  Just a little over one-third (36%) consumed on desktop only by the end of the year, which itself was a significant drop since the start of 2013 (46%).  However, consumption across devices does not cannibalize time spent on each individual platform.  Since 2010, the total time spent with desktops has increased by 7%.  

When it comes to shopping, digital consumers still prefer their desktops.  While mobile commerce is growing faster than e-commerce overall. it still represents just one of every $10 dollars spent online.  While smartphones (7%) own more of the e-commerce pie than tablets (4%), spending per average user is higher on tablet.

Finally, comScore also reported the latest online video viewing data.  Online video reaches 85 million viewers daily.  And online video remains an efficient use of consumers' time when compared to television, as just 5.7% of the total digital video viewing time is comprised of ads (one-quarter the ad load of television).  Like all forms of digital consumption, mobile is becoming increasingly important for video.  The smartphone and tablet video audiences grew by 38% and 54% respectively in one year.



So what?

This report from comScore serves as a useful snapshot of the current digital landscape.  Digital media consumption is in a stage of rapid evolution.  Content providers that can publish in mobile-optimized formats and provide effective advertising solutions regardless of screen should be well-positioned until the next disruptive piece of technology comes to the market.

> Read full report
Millennials Place Their Trust in User-Generated Content

Unlike previous generations that consumed professionally-created content in magazines and on televisions, millennials (those born between 1977 and 1995) spend 30% of their media time with content created and curated by their peers. A study by Ipsos and marketing platform Crowdtap explored this trend and found that millennials find user-generated content (UGC) to be more trustworthy and more memorable than the information they get from TV, print and radio, as well as non-UGC digital sources. They also prefer user reviews to professional reviews. As a result, 53% of millennials say that UGC influences their purchase decision, more than traditional media (44%) and banner ads (23%). Millennials are especially likely to turn to UGC to inform their decision when buying major electronics, cars and major appliances.

So what?

Although Crowdtap has a vested interest in proving the effectiveness of social influence, the results of this study echo similar finding from other research, which show that younger generations tend to prefer product conversations with peers and user-generated reviews.

> Read full report
Pew: Bucking A Long-Term Trend, Moms Staying Home More Often

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, the share of mothers staying with their children and not working outside the home has risen over the past decade, reversing a long-term trend. About three in ten mothers with children under 18 now stay at home.  That reflects a sizable gain over the low point over of mothers staying at home in 1999, when just 23% of mothers did not work.

Mothers are more likely to stay at home when caring for younger children -- 51% of non-working moms care for at least one child age 5 or younger, compared to 41% of working moms.  Pew speculates that part of the reason for the growth of stay-at-home mothers is the rising costs of child care -- census data found that families are spending 14% more of their income on child care than they were about two decades ago.  The changing face of America may also be part of the reason why more moms are staying at home.  Hispanics have grown to comprise a larger percentage of the population and are significantly more likely than other ethnic groups to say children are better off when a parent stays home.

While mothers at home are spending more time on housework and child care than working moms, they also spend more time on leisure activities.


So what?

We have all seen impressive statistics on the spending power of women and mothers, so it is important for brands to understand even subtle changes in motherhood trends.  Furthermore, it appears that as moms take a break from the workforce to spend more time with their young children, they may have more time to engage with content and perhaps build new relationships with brands.  

> Read full report
Social Media
The Majority of Social Shares Are Now Happening on a Mobile Device

The first quarter of this year marked the first time that consumers shared more online content via a mobile device than via desktop, according to the latest Consumer Sharing Trends Report from ShareThis. Sharing from all devices shows constant growth, but sharing on mobile devices this quarter grew 2.5 times faster than sharing on the desktop (28% and 11%, respectively). Among social networks, Twitter was the fastest growing channel, with a 43% surge in social shares vs. Q4 2013, followed by Reddit (25%). The overall growth in shares to social networks is happening at the expense of email sharing, which declined by 25%. ShareThis also examined the demographic composition of each social network, and found that Reddit skewed youngest, with users most likely to be under 30 years old. Twitter and Pinterest attract a slightly older audience of users in their 30s, while LinkedIn caters to mid-career professionals who are 40+. Facebook skews oldest, and encourages a lot of social activity among the 50+ age group.

So what?

It is now a well-known fact that users prefer to do social networking on a mobile device, so it is no surprise that social sharing follows the same trend. To encourage our users to share Condé Nast content with their networks, we need to ensure that sharing from our sites and digital editions to a social platform is easy and intuitive.

> Read full report
Quick Takes
Led By Gains Among Chrysler and Nissan, Domestic Automotive Sales Up More than 1% Year-to-Date

Source: Motor Intelligence (through March 2014 versus through March 2013)
ZenithOptimedia Projects China to Become Second Largest Ad Market by 2016

Source: ZenithOptimedia
Seniors are More Likely to Own a Tablet or E-Reader than a Smartphone

Source: Pew Research Center
Consumers Spend the Most in Their Early 50s

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights